Epistemically flawless false beliefs

Synthese 198 (12):11291-11309 (2020)
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Abstract

A starting point for the sort of alethic epistemological approach that dominates both historical and contemporary western philosophy is that epistemic norms, standards, or ideals are to be characterized by appeal to some kind of substantively normative relationship between belief and truth. Accordingly, the alethic epistemologist maintains that false beliefs are necessarily defective, imperfect, or flawed, at least from the epistemic perspective. In this paper, I develop an action-oriented alternative to the alethic approach, an alternative that is inspired by and jives with the kind of thinking that underwrites promising and increasingly popular enactive or embodied research programs in cognitive science. Moreover, I argue that the proponent of an action-oriented epistemological approach ought to deny that falsity, in and of itself, necessarily constitutes a kind of epistemic imperfection in belief. The action-oriented epistemologist ought to embrace the possibility that there are epistemically flawless false beliefs.

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Kate Nolfi
University of Vermont

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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